Leeds duo book team final with Malaysia

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England earned a shot at gold as they reached the final of the Commonwealth Games team event with a hard-fought 3-0 win over India.

Chris Adcock played a key part in the victory, featuring in two doubles successes, while Rajiv Ouseph claimed a singles win, but victory was far from straightforward.

England faltered in all three rubbers but eventually pulled through to book a final clash with defending champions Malaysia at the Emirates Arena.

Adcock and wife Gabby – from Leeds – laid the platform for victory as they overcame Akshay Dewalkar and Jwala Gutta 2-1.

Yet after powering through the first game 21-16 and opening up a 15-8 lead in the second, the world’s fifth-ranked pair were made to scrap by the newly formed Indian partnership.

At one point the Indians won seven points in a row, enabling them to level the game at 16-16 and then take it 21-16.

Gutta’s unusual forehand serve proved particularly problematic and she later claimed the English pair “hate playing me”.

But it proved a mere scare and the Adcocks powered home 21-11 in the third.

Ouseph, ranked 27, then overcame Kashyap Parupalli 21-16 21-19 for a vital win, but he too had alarms, noticeably in losing eight out of 10 points in one run in the first game. He also surrendered a three-point lead in the second before edging back ahead.

Adcock and Andy Ellis, also from Leeds, then completed the job with a 2-1 men’s doubles win over Dewalkar and Pranaav Chopra, but only after coming from behind in another energy-sapping encounter.

One rally in the second game contained 82 strokes as both sets of players pushed hard, but ultimately England prevailed 12-21 21-13 21-16. The final game was tense when locked at 14-14 but England edged ahead at the crucial moment and were mobbed by joyous, flag-draped team-mates as victory was clinched.